Hear & Now

Saquon Barkley: ‘It’s important to work out at the Combine because it’s a competition’

Saquon Barkley knows that many NFL draft prospects before him and some in the Class of 2018 don’t believe that working out at the Scouting Combine is a good idea.

The former standout running back at Penn State wholeheartedly disagrees with that perspective.

‘I’m a huge competitor and you’re going to be out there with some of the best of the best’

Barkley is devoting the bulk of his time and energy preparing for every drill he will be put through at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis later this month. Why?

“Because it’s competition,” Barkley told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Late Hits. “I’m a huge competitor and you’re going to be out there with some of the best of the best and some of the best at your position. It’s really not a competitive event, but it really is if you really think about it, if you narrow it down. I just want to go out there and try to do the best as I possibly can and not only challenge myself, but challenge the other backs in there, too.

‘It helps you see where you’re at next to your competitors’

“I’m not going to bash anybody that decides not to (participate), because everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and own right. But me, I think it’s important because it helps you see where you’re at, it helps you see where you’re at next to your competitors and other people competing as the same spot as you.”

Consequently, Barkley has been training. He has all of his thoughts focused on the Combine rather than April’s draft, because, well, first things first.

‘Training myself to become a vet, to become a pro’

“I really want to go out to the Combine and try dominating and try to perform the best as I possibly can,” Barkley said. “Just the little stuff. Work on the techniques, fundamental things. Also training myself to become a vet, to become a pro. Work on my flexibility and just understanding the process of the NFL is a long season, it’s a grind and the big, important thing is longevity and keeping your body healthy.

“I’ve been really attacking the Combine stuff, Combine drills and some of the little stuff like with how you run a 40 with a start and how many steps you take in a shuttle, where you place your hands for the bench press. That’s really the stuff I’m just focusing on right now and really been grinding on.”